Report: Charlie Strong Sticking with the Louisville Cardinals

 Update: Louisville Cardinals football coach Charlie Strong turned down an offer from the Tennessee Volunteers and is staying at UofL, according to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.

Citing an unnamed source, Thamel reported that Strong is negotiating a contract extension with Louisville.

FoxSports/Scouts.com regional recruiting analyst Jason Higdon tweeted that he’d spoken to Strong, who confirmed that he was staying.

Earlier: Louisville Cardinals football coach Charlie Strong was the top target for the same job with the Tennessee Volunteers, ESPN.com reported on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports was reporting that UofL expected to keep Strong.

Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde — a former Courier-Journal columnist — reported:

Multiple sources who spoke with Strong on campus Tuesday said he seemed committed to staying with the Cardinals – through the Sugar Bowl and beyond. They expect him to coach Louisville in 2013.

Update: ESPN.com is reporting, citing unnamed sources, that UofL is negotiating a contract extension with Strong.

Update: Citing unnamed sources, CBSSports.com is reporting that Tennessee has offered its head coaching job to Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.

The reports — citing unnamed sources — that Strong was the top contender for the Vols came days after stories claiming that he’d interviewed for that position, and also the vacant Auburn job. On Monday, Strong told reporters that he was “very annoyed” by the rumors.

“If you’re not talking to me, you’re not getting it from me, so why would you ever just start running with something that you don’t have any idea what you’re running with?,” Strong said.

He wouldn’t, however, give a definitive statement that he’d be back next season. 

In his story Wednesday, Forde also noted that Strong annoyed UofL fans with other comments during the same press conference.

Strong also criticized Louisville’s fan support and made a significant political misstep by comparing it, unfavorably, to the fan support of hated rival Kentucky. Some Cardinals fans saw that not only as an insult, but as a sign that Strong might be greasing the skids for his exit.

The Cardinals will play the Florida Gators on Jan. 2 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

On Tuesday, Auburn hired Arkansas State head coach Gus Malzahn.

Meanwhile, Western Kentucky football coach Willie Taggart is the subject of speculation in for the open South Florida job. The Hilltoppers will play on Dec. 26 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl — the program’s first bowl game since joining the top college football division in 2008.

Taggart is a former Hilltopper player and was an assistant for the Stanford Cardinal before being hired three years ago.

Joseph Lord

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

@joseph_Lord

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